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Feature Article

New Chief Quality Officer Enhances Focus On Safety

Samaritan Health Services has hired Chief Quality Officer Margaret Mikula, MD, who will lead Samaritan’s continual efforts to achieve the highest levels of clinical quality, safety and patient experience.

While Samaritan is already recognized nationally for quality patient care, Dr. Mikula will work collaboratively with health care teams across Samaritan to further advance quality and safety initiatives.

“Despite the great work Samaritan already has in place, we know that harm sometimes happens in health care,” said Dr. Mikula. “Patients unfortunately can be hurt during the course of their care. That is why it’s our goal to achieve zero harm as it relates to patient and employee safety.”

With many programs already in place, Samaritan will achieve the goal of zero harm by following best practices, safe processes and procedures to help recognize and reduce human errors that may lead to harm.

“You build a system where people can point out opportunities,” Dr. Mikula said. “When people are comfortable speaking up, you can learn from everything. You still have human errors, but they are less likely to cause harm. You are able to take the feedback and rapidly adjust as necessary, so the same errors don’t continue.”

Dr. Mikula joined Samaritan in August. Previously, she served as vice president and chief quality officer for Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State Children’s Hospital, as well as for Penn State Medical Group. Under her leadership, those organizations reduced serious harm events by 60%.

“Samaritan is well positioned for success in this effort and I am excited to help continue and reinforce the great work already in place,” Dr. Mikula said.

For more information about quality and safety at Samaritan Health Services, visit